Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Somali and African Union forces have launched a long-awaited fresh offensive against al-Shabab fighters aimed at capturing remaining ports from the armed group, army and government officials have said.
- Somalia asked the International Court of Justice to determine the maritime boundary between it and Kenya, which disagree about the rights for exploration and collect revenue from oil discoveries.
- The World Health Organisation has shut down a laboratory in Sierra Leone after a health worker there was infected with Ebola, a move that may hamper efforts to boost the global response to the worst-ever outbreak of the disease.
- North Korea has fired a short-range projectile towards the sea off its east coast in the latest of a series of missile and rocket tests, military officials from South Korea have said.
- China has endorsed a framework for the first direct election in Hong Kong in two years, but stopped short of allowing citizens of the special administrative region from directly nominating candidates, which activists have been demanding.
- European leaders have named the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, as the next EU president and Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini to head its diplomatic service, as the bloc faces a series of challenges topped by Ukraine.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin called for immediate talks on the “statehood” of southern and eastern Ukraine, although his spokesman said this did not mean Moscow now endorsed rebel calls for independence for territory they have seized.
- Germany will send enough weapons to arm 4,000 Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq battling against Islamic State group fighters, whose advances threaten to destabilise the Middle East, the defence minister has said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Israel announced on Sunday a land appropriation in the occupied West Bank that an anti-settlement group termed the biggest in 30 years, drawing Palestinian condemnation and a U.S. rebuke.
- Suspected al Qaeda militants carried out two separate suicide car bombings against military locations in the south Yemen province of Shabwa on Sunday, killing several Yemeni soldiers, local officials and medical sources said.
- A few months after moving from Canada to a remote part of Guatemala to find religious freedom, a group of ultra-orthodox Jews have now been forced to leave their homes in a bitter conflict with villagers.
- More than 92,000 Colombians have disappeared during 50 years of war and at the hands of drug gangs, and the government needs to step up efforts to find missing people, the Red Cross said.
- The United States has moved 11 new prisoners out of a military prison near the Afghan capital, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, as the Obama administration seeks to shut down a controversial detainee program in Afghanistan ahead of its troop withdrawal.
- Australia urged Thailand on Friday to allow Australian couples with babies born by Thai surrogate mothers to return home with their children following a crackdown on commercial surrogacy that has left many couples in limbo.
- The head of the Fijian army said on Sunday negotiations for the release of 44 soldiers abducted by an al Qaeda-linked group on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights were being pursued as the United Nations said it had no word on the troops’ whereabouts.
- The United Nations says the civil war in Syria has forced more than three million people to flee the country, an increase of one million in the past year alone.
- The United Nations’ civil aviation body will launch two pilot projects designed to help airlines and states better share information about risks in conflict zones, the organization said on Tuesday, nearly six weeks after a Malaysian airliner was shot down over Ukraine.